With my upcoming half around the corner (this Saturday!!), I realized I hadn’t reviewed my last half! Here goes nothing…
Cost: $40 race registration + hotel stay
Race Expo: None, but I didn’t expect one since this race is in a small town.
Packet Pick-Up: Packet pick-up was the Thursday and Friday before the race at a near by elementary school. No race day registration or packet pick-up was provided due to chip timing.
Chip Timing: Yes. I think they were called B-tags. It timed our net and gun time.
Race Start Time: 9 am
T-Shirt: Love the t-shirt we received! This black technical tee with specific year is very comfortable.
Bathrooms: I don’t remember seeing port-o-potties before the race, but we weren’t looking for them either. My mother-in-law’s sister knew which building on Athens campus provided lots of bathrooms. Apparently lots of runners knew this because there were lots of runners using them, stretching, and staying warm.
Bag Check: None, although I would not have used it anyway.
Course: The course started and ended on the beautiful Athens University campus. The main chunk of the course was spent on the bike trail nearby. It was a gorgeous trail, but allowed for almost zero crowd support. The course was flat and considered “a flat and fast course for those trying to qualify for Boston.” We had great weather and I definitely could have worn a tee-shirt for this race. Each mile had a marker, but we were confused when we saw mile marker 13 before we entered the track, yet had to run 1.5 laps around the track instead of the .5 laps the literature said. Guess I’ll never know what happened!
Water Stops: There were water stops approximately ever 1.5 miles which was awesome. They also had gatorade at these stop and I remember oranges at one of them. I did hear (but can’t confirm since I was doing the half), that once the half marathoners turned around the water stops turned into every 3 miles for the marathoners.
Volunteers: I thought the volunteers were great and very encouraging at the water stops. There seemed to have been enough volunteers.
Crowd Support: Almost none. The crowd at the beginning and end were amazing, but since the course was predominately along the bike trail, spectators would have a hard time cheering. Luckily, I made friends with Terri and we were each others support the entire time — incredible to run almost the whole thing with her!
Course Entertainment: There was music playing at the beginning and end of the race — and of course the scary canon shot to signify the start of the race, ha. So, during the middle of the race there was no entertainment.
Course Photographer: Yes! I was pleasantly surprised by this. I ended up not buying the below picture. Hopefully I have another good one this weekend!
Finishers Medal: Yay for another medal! This medal says 21st Athens Half Marathon on the top and April 3, 2011 at the bottom. The marathoners received a medal on a green ribbon and ours was yellow.
Post Race Food: Water, gatorade, bananas and orange halves were all provided. I remember seeing someone with pizza but I’m not sure where they got it, not that I could eat it anyway.
Overall Value: For $40 I think this was a great value.
Recommendation: I would definitely run this race again and recommend it to others; no wonder John’s aunt runs this one every year!
Think you’d run it?? The next Athens half and full marathons are on April 1, 2012.
- Other race reviews: Mill Creek Distance Classic.